Today’s Question: I’ve used the Content Aware tool [in Photoshop] ever since it was introduced, but have been unable to locate it since I upgraded from Photoshop CS5. It used to be ganged with the Clone Stamp tool, which is a logical place to find it. Where is it now and why did they hide it?
Tim’s Quick Answer: There actually isn’t a Content Aware tool (although there is a Content-Aware Move tool, as noted below). Rather, there is a technology referred to as “Content Aware” that is available in a variety of places within Photoshop, including the Spot Healing Brush tool, the Fill command, and elsewhere.
More Detail: I don’t recall whether the Spot Healing Brush tool (or any of the other cleanup tools) was ever “bundled” with the Clone Stamp tool on the toolbox. But regardless, the Spot Healing Brush tool is now found on a button two positions above the Clone Stamp tool on the toolbox. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of “J” on the keyboard to activate the Spot Healing Brush tool.
Note that the button for the Spot Healing Brush tool on the toolbox is a “bundle” that also includes the Healing Brush tool, the Patch tool (which also includes the Content Aware feature), the Content-Aware Move tool (which, as the name implies, makes use of the Content Aware feature), and the Red Eye tool. You can click and hold the mouse pointer on the button for the Spot Healing Brush tool to open a flyout menu that includes these additional tools.
You can also find the Content Aware feature as an option for the Fill command. Simply create a selection within the image of the area you want to clean up, and then choose Edit > Fill from the menu. Choose “Content Aware” from the Contents popup in the Fill dialog, and click OK to fill the selection using the Content Aware technology.